Don’t be a victim of money laundering
When we think about money laundering, we may immediately think about something very distant from our everyday lives, but the reality is that it is much closer than you might think.
Money laundering is a way of hiding money for all sorts of illegal activity – theft, trafficking, terrorist organisations, drugs gangs and it refers to passing payments through multiple bank accounts, so it is impossible for the police to trace where the money has come from or gone to. Money mules are people whose bank accounts are being used in this way – and criminals would like that to be you.
Criminals love students. Universities are terrific places to gather information on bank accounts, and according to statistics, a third of students would allow someone else to use their bank account or transfer money for them. Across the UKs universities, that represents nearly a million potential bank accounts, criminals recruit students to persuade their friends and colleagues at university to hand over their bank details, typically with the promise of a cash payout or gift.
The UK’s fraud prevention organisation Cifas reported earlier this year that 4 out of 10 cases of money mules involved young people aged 21 – 30.
If you have been asked to hand over your bank card or let someone else use your bank account temporarily – even if it is another student who you regard as a friend, it is possible your bank account is being used for money laundering. You might be approached in person, or via online social media DM.
However, help is at hand as there is a brilliant film available…crooksoncampus.co.uk
Made partly by former hackers and criminals, the film has been created to make students aware of how easy it is to be taken in, and how serious the consequences are. It’s a short film called ‘Crooks on Campus’ and any student can see it by entering their university email address.
The film is available from the 1st of December 2021, and all students should see it – it’s a must for your safety.
Just to encourage you to watch it, you could think about what you have to lose – money laundering includes the act of allowing criminals to use your account, and if you do just that, you may be handed a 14 year prison sentence! Seriously! If you want to talk about any contact you have had with someone who has asked for your bank details, you can speak to the Student Advice Service for some advice on the subject.
Stay alert. Stay safe
Student Advice Service